Frenkie de Jong: Manchester United closing in on deal to sign Barcelona midfielder

New boss Erik ten Hag is hoping to be reunited with his former Ajax player at Old Trafford

<p>New boss Erik ten Hag is hoping to be reunited with his former Ajax player at Old Trafford</p>

New boss Erik ten Hag is hoping to be reunited with his former Ajax player at Old Trafford

Manchester United have made headway in negotiations with Barcelona over key summer target Frenkie de Jong.

Erik ten Hag coached the 25-year-old at Ajax and feels the midfielder would be an important part of the rebuild he is undertaking at Old Trafford.

United are understood to have made positive progress in talks with Barcelona and a deal of around £56million plus add-ons has been lined up.

There remains issues to iron out but the first signing of the Ten Hag era appears to be edging closer.

The acquisition of a box-to-box midfielder has been a focus for the newly-appointed Dutchman, who oversaw his first training session as Red Devils manager on Monday.

United have struggled for midfield control and balance in recent years, while the departure on free transfers of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic have weakened their options.

The duo are among a number of high-profile departures this summer as Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata also left at the end of their deals.

Works is afoot to add more faces and some peripheral players are on their way out, with back-up goalkeeper Dean Henderson set to join Nottingham Forest on loan.

Meanwhile, United teenager Zidane Iqbal has signed a new and improved deal at the club.

The Mancunian of Iraqi and Pakistani heritage made his debut in December’s Champions League match against Young Boys and has signed a deal until June 2025, with the option of a further year.

“Delighted to have extended my stay at this wonderful club,” 19-year-old Iqbal posted on Twitter. “Alhamdulillah.”

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